UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


Dvorah Vogel: Yiddish Modernist Poetry

09 February 2021, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

cover of book Blooming Spaces

Dvorah (Debora) Vogel (1900-1942) considered Yiddish as central vehicle for her modernist writing experiments.

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Institute of Polish Jewish Studies


Gower Street

In collaboration with the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies and The Ukrainian Institute London

Dvorah, or Debora, Vogel (1900-1942), a native of Galicia who spent most of her life in Lwów/Lviv (now in western Ukraine), was an often overlooked but important figure in the constellation of avant-garde European writing of the interwar period. She considered Yiddish as a central vehicle for her modernist writing experiments. Anastasiya Lyubas (University of Toronto) introduces us to the strikingly original prose experiments inspired by photography and film and her Cubist poetry. 

Anastasiya Lyubas is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Northrop Frye Centre at the University of Toronto (2020-2021). Anastasiya is currently co-editing the Special Issue on Debora Vogel for In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies(forthcoming spring 2021). She is the author of Blooming Spaces: The Collected Poetry, Prose, Critical Writing, and Letters of Debora Vogel, a ground-breaking scholarly collection dedicated to the work of the Polish and Yiddish Modernist writer Debora Vogel (Boston: Academic Studies Press, October 2020). Anastasiya is also the author of White Words: Essays, Letters, and Reviews by Debora Vogel, a scholarly volume in Ukrainian (Kyiv: Dukh i Litera, 2019). She holds a PhD from Binghamton University (2018) and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship (2012–2014) and of fellowships at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre (MLCRC at Ryerson University (2018–2019), YIVO (2017–2018), and the Yiddish Book Center (2017–2018). Her research has appeared or is forthcoming from Routledge Encyclopedia of ModernismNashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender StudiesTranslation: A Transdisciplinary Journal, and In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.

Iryna Starovoyt is a poet, essayist, and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University. She graduated from Lviv University in 2001, as did Vogel herself in 1924. She teaches courses on Modernist Women Writers and Activists, Critical and Creative Thinking, History of Ideas and Cultural Practices. Member of PEN Ukraine, she authored three volumes of poetry and a number of essays. Her poetry touches upon the neglected 20th century generational memories and new traumatic context of its retelling in Eastern Europe. She has written many essays on Ukrainian modern literary narratives of becoming and belonging, ethics and sensitivity of memory, conflictual mental mapping, displacement and writing through pain, war and trauma. She is on the board of the annual Lviv Book Forum and the Lviv Biennale of Trust. Prof. Starovoyt spent many years working to recover and reopen Modernist Lviv/Lwow/Lemberg, which was once a transnational cultural hotspot and vibrant cosmopolitan city, for today’s Ukrainians. Starovoyt edited a monthly (De)montage of Memory chapter at Ukraina Moderna academic website. She was part of the special program and exhibition Puzzles of Memory recovering Dvorah Vogel's name from oblivion in 2017 in Lviv. As a memory activist and educator, she has been awarded the Key to the City award from the Lviv City Mayor.

Uilleam Blacker is Associate Professor in comparative East European culture at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. His areas of research interest are the literatures and cultures of Ukraine and Poland and cultural memory in eastern Europe. His monograph Memory, the City and the Legacy of World War II in East-Central Europe was published by Routledge in 2019. He is co-author of Remembering Katyn (Polity, 2012) and co-editor of Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013). He has published widely on Ukrainian, Polish and Russian literature and culture. He has also translated the work of several contemporary Ukrainian writers, including, most recently, Oleg Sentsov’s short story collection Life Went On Anyway (Deep Vellum, 2019).


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